On Wednesday, broadcaster Robert Peston tweeted his disbelief that a recent cabinet meeting was entirely about food waste and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) rather than Brexit.

He said: “I am not sure whether to be reassured or terrified that the PM and ministers are carrying on as though everything is normal.”

Frankly, I’m terrified that the climate emergency, which tackling the SDGs will address, isn’t a standing item on every cabinet meeting agenda. And perhaps the most crucial sector it should be talking about is the built environment, which contributes about half of the UK’s carbon emissions.

The SDGs were agreed by governments in December 2015 to set the world on a path to sustainable prosperity by 2030. At last year’s ecobuild, it was clear to all of us at Bioregional that while many people were interested to hear about the SDGs, most hadn’t heard of them before – let alone started to integrate them into the way they do business. With the deadline for achieving them just eleven years away, we should be well past the stage of interest in the SDGs.

Build a better future: the built environment and the Sustainable Development Goals


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Built environment companies are struggling to get to grips with the Sustainable Development Goals. So we've created an easy-to-digest guide with practical advice on how to get started. Let's build a better future together

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But there has been progress over the year, with a few trail blazers that are leading the way. Which is why I’m excited to be talking at the opening session of this year’s ecobuild Conference. The central message will be that achieving the SDGs in 2030 means all of us taking action now. I’ll be telling the trendsetters’ stories about their SDGs progress over the past year.

So do join me and my fellow panellists at the ecobuild Conference Area at 10.30am on 5 March as we discuss why 2030 is now.

Some of my Bioregional colleagues will also be giving talks and workshops throughout Futurebuild (see the schedule below): Nicole Lazarus, Bioregional’s Head of One Planet Living, will be talking about how we can deliver zero-carbon homes at scale 10.30am on Tuesday 5 March. Then she and Ronan Leyden, our head of Sustainable Places, will be running a workshop about how to use the SDGs at 4.30pm that same day.

In our other workshop, Anthony Probert and Lewis Knight will talking about how to use our sustainability framework One Planet Living in practical projects at 4.30pm on Wednesday 6 March.

You can also come say hello at our stand (D140, in the Knowledge Forum)!

Where you'll find us at Futurebuild:

  • Opening session of the ecobuild Conference

2030 is now - Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals and UK Government commitments​: Conference Arena, 10.30-11.40am, Tuesday 5 March

What will you do – individually and in collaboration - to help meet all the UN Sustainable Development Goals and UK government commitments?

Who's talking: Julia Hawkins

  • CPD-accredited Seminar Programme

Beyond zero-carbon homes: Energy Hub theatre, 10.30-11.40am, Tuesday 5 March

Is the UK capable of delivering new homes that meet or exceed zero carbon standards, and will current policies and regulations lead us to this end point in sufficient time?

Who's talking: Nicole Lazarus

  • Free workshops in the Knowledge Forum

Learn how to use the SDGs in your work: 4.30-5.40pm, Tuesday 5 March

Nicole and Ronan Leyden, our Head of Sustainable Places, will be running a workshop to give practical tips on how to start incorporating the SDGs in your business or development project.

Who's talking: Nicole Lazarus and Ronan Leyden

Apply One Planet Living to practical projects: 4.30-5.40pm, Wednesday 6 March

Learn how the ten principles of One Planet Living – from ‘zero carbon energy’ to ‘health and happiness’ – can be applied throughout the design, construction and operation of your development scheme, making sure it works for people, planet and your business.

Who's talking: Anthony Probert and Lewis Knight

Reserve your free spot for Knowledge Forum workshops

Register for Futurebuild - and we'll see you there!

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